Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Secret List

I was watching one of my many crime dramas, since I had time to catch up on my over-full DVR, and there was a police wife having to ID her husband's body.  And she talks about how she has always waited for this day.  Later in the episode a pregnant police wife falls apart in regards to THAT phone call.  I have thought about that THAT phone call, actually THAT knock on the door.  The one I probably won't be able to answer.  I have thought long and hard about it.  How I will handle it, who I will call, how I will react, how I will go on.

Now, you must understand, I am a Type-A personality.  You'd never know it, looking at my house some days, but even the best strategists know when the battle is no longer worth fighting.  I have lists for my lists.  I never go shopping without my Cozi list.  My terms are planned out by unit, in mid-summer.  I have everything planned out.  I even have a Secret List.  With every sympathy card I have sent to a wife or family of a FF who died in the line of duty, I add to my list.  Things that I don't want to forget when I can't remember my own name.  Things that are important, but will seem like nothing if that day comes.

I have that knock on my door planned out, written out.  I have names and numbers. I have who is supposed to tend to my kids, so I can tend to my husband. I have notes for things my husband has mentioned in passing or at other funerals for his service.  I have notes, numbers, lists and even a note reminding me to breathe, literally - I know I will forget.  I want to be able to tend to things, even if I am going on auto-pilot.  Even the most magnificent robot works best if there are good instructions.

B taking it all in at E2
Now, statistics are on my side. MFD has only lost two firefighters and one recruit since I was in daycare.  They are an amazing department.  BUT...that does not mean it is never going to happen.  That explosion last year where we had FFs jumping out of the window moments before the explosion, reminds us not to get too comfortable with our firefighters in those structures.  Even the best laid plans...even the best trained firefighters...

It is not an enjoyable conversation to have, but be sure to have it.  Look into a living will for your FF, but also for you.  If you can't make your wishes known, how will anyone know?  Make your voice heard and be sure your FF's voice is heard, if, God forbid, the time ever comes.

But, until then, enjoy your firefighters and your families.  Say what you need to say, before you can't say it.  Live life, even if it is not how you planned it.

Be sure to remind your firefighter to come home safe and that they are never alone.
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